NYC Comedy Picks for Week of January 31, 2011

NYC Comedy Picks for Monday 1/31/11

Leslie Meisel Dan St. Germain

Rising stars Leslie Meisel (Deep Traffic) and Dan St. Germain (Hot Tub Variety)

 

Recommendations for the best in New York City comedy tonight

(in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:

 

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Kevin Allison (legendary MTV sketch series The State, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1, host of award-winning storytelling show Risk!) hosts this free open mic show for storytellers, in which you can put your name in a hat for the chance to tell a five-minute true story...and if it's a good one, possibly be included in Kevin's popular podcasts on the Web: Risk! Storyslam

6:30 pm & 9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open mic stand-up with 4½ minutes per set and 25 comics crammed into 2½ hours—with an early show hosted by Sean Donnelly & Blaine Perry at 6:30 pm, and an entirely different group of stand-ups hosted by Dan Cartwright & Dave Greek at 9:00 pm—at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) for John Morrison's Motel Luca

7:00 pm ($5): Jenny Dunne and Rick Andrews improvise a single moment in two characters' lives again and again, exploring three parallel realities, and the difference that a look or tone can make; and duo improv by friends who, by a wild coincidence, have the same name, in the double-bill The Cascade and We're Matt Weir

[FREE] 7:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Reese Waters, Dan Soder, Calvin Cato, Amanda Baramki and Graham Keay performing at a free weekly show in the Manchester Pub hosted by Phoebe Robinson: Case of the Mondays Comedy

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Broadway & off-Broadway stars Maria Dizzia (Tony nominee for In The Next Room), Sandy Rustin (Neil Simon's Hotel Suite), Kevin Kelly (The Brother/Sister Plays), David Kenner (Old Wicked Songs), Carla Briscoe (Mikveh), and Liz Wisan (Other Desert Cities), mixing it up with some of the best  improvisors in the world—Scott Adsit (30 Rock, Moral Orel, John & Scott), Tara Copeland (The Other Guys, Mother, Baby Wants Candy), Michael Delaney (Conan O'Brien, The Other Guys, The Stepfathers), and Anthony King  (beloved comedy genius and happy new dad)—as they crash improv into classic theatre scenes at actor/director Stephen Ruddy's Gravid Water

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($6.50 online or $8 at the door): Dan St. Germain (quick-witted rising star; Jimmy Fallon, MTV; for reenactment of Dan's breakup, please click here), Matt Higgins (superb improv/sketch performer of troupe Centralia), and Dr. Uke and Daughters (ukulele-playing dad and his singing gals) performing at Brooklyn's Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) with sketches and more from NYC comedy royalty Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunohler: Hot Tub Variety

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($5—typically with FREE PIZZA!!): Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 15-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of hilarious monthly storytelling extravaganzas Real Tales of College and The Adam Wade show; for Adam's award-winning tale of being an NBC page on Conan O'Brien, please click here), Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1's Best Week Ever), Leslie Meisel (30 Rock; superb one-woman show Love Can Suck a Dick), Nick Vatterott (Second City), and Gabe Delahaye (Videogum) performing at the Magnet Theatre for Adam Lerman's and Willy Appleman's variety show Deep Traffic

9:30 pm ($5): Two of UCBT's fine house sketch comedy troupes, Neighbor Boy and Fambly, trying out new bits at Maude Night

9:30 pm ($5): Jeff Seal and Chris Manley perform clowning and vaudeville-style comedy at Neon Lights

10:00 pm ($5): Improv is dominated by guys, so this is a rare treat—a dozen female improvisors "for an evening of comedy that will delight men, women, babies, and kittens," hosted by Megan Gray: We Might Just Kiss

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Unusually, the lineup hasn't been announced (for an update, please click here); but this is typically one of the very finest stand-up shows in the country...and is free: Whiplash

[FREE] 11:00 pm: If you're an audience member who loves stand-up, Monday at 11 should be Whiplash! night (see listing above). If you're a comic who couldn't get booked on UCBT's all-star show, though, you can opt to instead practice your skills on this stand-up open mic hosted by Michelle Wolf and Erin Lennox: Fresh

 

 

NYC Comedy Picks for Tuesday 2/1/11

Brooklyn Brooklyn

Comedic and fascinating lectures about Brooklyn tonight at Charles Star's Adult Education

 

Recommendations for the best in New York City comedy tonight

(in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:

 

7:00 pm ($5): Six improvisors play themselves on stage (similar to Naked in a Fishbowl) in Self Image ; and in the second half of this double-bill, eight improvisors trace the storylines of characters at a single event suggested by an audience member in Hell Buffalo

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Witty writers offering delightfully wry lectures about  this month's topic "Brooklyn"—e.g., The Brooklyn Accent: Freakin' A, and Dreamland is Burning: A Coney Island Centennial—at Brooklyn's Union Hall for Charles Star's comedic show Adult Education

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Celebrating the 50th edition of this biweekly show are Hannibal Buress (staff writer for 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live; David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, Comedy Central), Myq Kaplan (finalist on the most recent Last Comic Standing; Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents half-hour special, hot new comedy CD Vegan Mind Meld), Micah Sherman (Second City), Giulia Rozzi (VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Dive comedy and Stripped Stories),  and musical guest The Pendulum Swings (featuring Jason Trachtenberg of the wonderful Trachtenberg Family Slideshow Players) performing at Brooklyn's The Royal Oak (594 Union Avenue) along with sketches from Moon regulars such as co-producer Jordan Clifford and hosts Nat Towsen & Bob Walles: The Moon Show

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5):Todd Barry (HBO, David Letterman, Conan O'Brien, Comedy Central Presents, The Sarah Silverman Program, Adult Swim, feature films The Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead), Jon Rineman (writer for Jimmy Fallon), Brandy Crawford, Whitney Meers, and musical guest Scott Gibson performing at the Lolita Bar at Liam McEneaney's Tell Your Friends

8:00 pm ($10): The worlds of "magic, mind-reading, and mutilation" are explored by Matthew Holtzclaw and Prakash Puru: Strange Things

8:00 pm to Midnight ($5): Four full hours of improv for only five bucks—tonight featuring UCBT house troupes CAPTCHA, Very Good Kiss, Badman, Ragnaröck, and Sandino; and at 11:00 pm UCBT students chosen by chance perform with veteran improvisors—all at Harold Night

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Mara Herron , Mary Kate Wise, Adam Chisnall, and Dan Frigolette performing at Cellar 58 (58 Second Avenue) alongside delightful host Abbi Crutchfield and guest-host Boris Khaykin: Positively Awesome

9:00 pm ($5): Joe Mande (Comedy Central, VH1; co-host of Totally J/K; author of new book Look at This F*cking Hipster), Matt McCarthy (Comedy Central, AMC, Verizon FIOS guy, Front Page Films, The Other Guys, comedy CD Come Clean), Louis Katz (HBO, Comedy Central Presents), Adam Morneno (a.k.a. Mr. Blue; music For Wet Hot American Summer, The Ten), and more performing at Ella (9 Avenue A) hosted by the wonderful Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon, VH1): Sweet

9:00 pm ($5): Morgan Murphy (fresh, original, and fearlessly dark; The Comedians of Comedy; staff writer for Jimmy Fallon), Jason Good, Greg Johnson, and more performing stand-up at the Ace of Clubs (9 Great Jones Street, underneath Acme Bar & Grill) hosted by Joe DeRosa (HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central Presents) and Jared Logan (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central): Righteous Kill

9:30 pm ($5): Young, adorable performers make up a musical on the spot as Zamboni Musical Improv

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A breathtaking 40 comics are given 2 minutes each in this rapid-fire open mic stand-up show hosted with wit and energy by Jay Welch: Bring It

 

 

NYC Comedy Picks for Wednesday 2/2/11

Craig Rowin

Craig Rowin asked politely for $1 million...and tonight he's slated to get it, live on stage, at Please Give Me One Million Dollars

 

Recommendations for the best in New York City comedy tonight

(in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:

 

 

[FREE] 6:00 pm to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation at The PIT's Super Free Wednesday

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): This is a story that we should all tell ourselves every day: "A few months ago Craig Rowin went on the Internet and made a simple request: Please Give Me One Million Dollars. Since then he has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, has become a sensation in Holland, and appeared on the CBS Morning News in Alabama to ask millionaires for $1 million. Now a millionaire has stepped forward and actually offered Craig the money! The $1 million check will be given live on stage at the UCB Theatre." Is this real? Is it a grand hoax? Are there kinky strings attached? I don't know; but I've already applied this "Just Ask, Dammit" principle, and it really works. As for the rest, come see for yourself at Please Give Me One Million Dollars Live: The First Million Dollars!

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door, $6.84 online with discount code Supermango): Todd Barry (HBO, David Letterman, Conan O'Brien, Comedy Central Presents, The Sarah Silverman Program, Adult Swim, feature films The Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead), Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant stand-up, writer, and storyteller; blogger for trutV; TLC; co-host of Dive Comedy; for stand-up videos about overindulging at 30 and impersonating Morrisey, please click here and here), Jeff Caldwell (David Letterman, Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central), and storyteller Amanda Melson performing at the Bowery Poetry Club with host Dan Allen: ¡Sacapuntas!

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Mindy Raf (brilliant & hilarious singer/songwriter), Joe DeRosa (HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central Presents, co-host of Righteous Kill, comedy CD The Depression Auction), Mike Pomranz, Leah Bonema, and more performing at Brooklyn's Hank's Rootin' Tootin' Saloon (46 Third Avenue at Atlantic) for this free weekly show hosted by Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant stand-up, writer, and storyteller; TLC, blogger for trutV; for stand-up videos about overindulging at 30 and impersonating Morrisey, please click here and here) and Giulia Rozzi (VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Stripped Stories): Dive Comedy

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Pat O'Shea , Myka Fox, Vicki Ferentinos, Michael Fisher, and Subhah Agarwal performing at this free weekly show at Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B) hosted by Sharon Spell: Shrink

[FREE] 9:00 pm: An all-Canadian lineup—Ophira Eisenberg (Comedy Central, VH1), Ian Lynch (co-star of Logo's Girl, 5 Gays), and Laura Nikifortchuk (Second City Toronto)—performing at the Bar-Tini Ultra Lounge (542 Tenth Avenue, between 40th & 41st Streets) for a free weekly gay-themed comedy show hosted by Adam Sank: That Sank Show

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): A delightful annual tradition in which some of the finest improvisers in the country—Christina Gausas, John Gemberling, Neil Casey, Becky Drysdale, Pam Murphy, Fran Gillespie, and Miriam Tolan—are trapped in the same improv scene over and over again: Groundhog Day

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Host Justin Purnell (The Colbert Report) providing as many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some (like me), that's part of the laid-back fun; and this is often one of the most amazing comedy shows in town. Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a show makes possible—and don't forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night

 

 

NYC Comedy Picks for Thursday 2/3/11

Ted Alexandro  Dick Gregory

Comedy giants of their generation: Ted Alexandro (Comedy Below Canal) and Dick Gregory (headlining at Carolines)

Recommendations for the best in New York City comedy tonight

(in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $12 marked with $) include:

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[$] 7:30 pm ($31.25 & 2-drink min.) A pioneering legendary political comic headlining tonight and tomorrow at Carolines: Dick Gregory Celebrates Black History Month

[$] 8:00 pm ($15 & 2-item min.)  Two pillars of NYC's comedy community headline for one night only at the elegant Comix Comedy Club: Jon Friedman and Giulia Rozzi

8:00 pm ($5): John O'Donnell tells lots of comedic stories in his long-running one-man show The O'Donnellogues

9:00 pm ($12): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O'Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; delivered perfect set recently at Carnegie Hall; upcoming appearance this month on David Letterman), Ben Lerman (witty & raunchy singer/songwriter), Sherrod Small (VH1's Best Week Ever), Tom Papa (The Marriage Ref), and host Shawn Hollenbach performing stand-up at Comedy Below Canal

[FREE] 9:00ish pm: Typically terrific NYC stand-ups performing on this weekly show at the Kabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and (throughout February) by the wonderful Brooke Van Poppelen: Comedy as a Second Language

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): John Mulaney (writer/performer for Saturday Night Live; Conan O'Brien, Comedy Central Presents, VH1's Best Week Ever; for John's great bit on Weekend Update, please click here), Seth Herzog (staff comic for Jimmy Fallon; Comedy Central, CBS, VH1, movie star; host of Sweet), and Lisa Delarios (Comedy Central) joining delightful hosts Andrea Rosen and Shonali Bhowmik for Variety SHAC

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($8): A unique sports-themed stand-up, sketch comedy, and interview show hosted by Scott Rogowsky and Neil Janowitz that features both professional sports stars and comics doing sports-themed comedy—with tonight's guests New York Jet Eric Smith and comedian Matt Mccarthy: 12 Angry Mascots

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Genius improv troupe Outlook of the Poet (Jon Gabrus, Ben Rodgers, and Gavin Speiller) competes with improv troupe Dreamboat for audience laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): A monthly screening of new short filmed sketch and comedy produced by members of the Magnet community: Flick Video Showcase

 

 

NYC Comedy Picks for Friday 2/4/11

Grease 3 : Threase

The PIT's a great place to be tonight, with the return of a production Show Business Weekly described as
"standout music and a genuine absurdity not to be missed:" Grease 3: Threase...

Kurt Braunohler  Adira Amram

...and Kurt Braunohler debuts a monthly comedy talk show, tonight including Adira Amram: Night of the Living

 

Recommendations for the best in New York City comedy tonight

(in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:

 

 

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): Some of The Magnet's finest comics—including the brilliant and delightful Lauren Olson (powerhouse one-woman show Our Condolences at last year's FringeNYC)—team up with Magnet co-owner Armando Diaz to deliver sketch comedy in Good Morning, Ladies!

[$] 7:30 pm ($31.25 & 2-drink min.) A pioneering legendary political comic headlining tonight and tomorrow at Carolines: Dick Gregory Celebrates Black History Month

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): The thoroughly wonderful comics of sketch troupe Fearsome—Shayna Ferm, Katherine Bryant Flaherty, Alex Goldberg, and Chris O'Connor—are joined by such other immense talents as Livia Scott and Amy Heidt to perform a new comedic musical that's very, very loosely based on a classic Travolta/Newton John vehicle: Grease 3: Threase

8:00 pm ($10): Jordan Klepper (Steve and Jordan, Second City) and Laura Grey (Laura on Laura, Second City) "are bringing their baggage to the stage, and they’re dumping it on you" in a show that's likely to be terrific;  and young talents doing a loud and mildly amusing sketch show as cops, in the double-bill Baggage and The Sit Down and Shut Up NYPD Variety Hour

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Roger Hailes (Comedy Central, VH1), Mark Normand (co-host of We're All Friends Here), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel), Kevin Barnett (Roundtable of Gentleman), and Team Submarine performing at Brooklyn's Coco 66 for hosts Nick Turner's & Jason Saenz's Too Cool for School

8:00 pm ($5; includes free homemade baked treats!): Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents), Brent Sullivan (Comedy Central), Pat Stango (co-host of Don’t Touch Me There), Matt Maragno, Ray Combs, and Kevin Carlin performing stand-up at at Karma Lounge (51 First Avenue, off 3rd Street) with hosts Aalap Patel and the delightful Chelsea White (MTV, College Humor) at It's Not That Serious

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups—not announced this week—performing at O'Hanlon's (14th Street off 1st Avenue) hosted by someone also not announced this week: Hot Soup

[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.) A stand-up who's starred in his own Comedy Central Presents special, and appreared on ABC's The View and NBC's Showtime at the Apollo, headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Louis Ramey

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from the comedy genius members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): Comedy veterans Laura Krafft (former writer for The Colbert Report), Jodi Lennon (Exit 57), and Miriam Tolan (The Daily Show) perform an improvised play in What a Year!

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Always fresh and imaginative world-class sketch troupe that uses song, movement, and clever scenarios to turn familiar rituals on their head (for a video about awkward goodbyes at the end of a party, please click here) delivering a brand new collection of sketches titled Ms. Larsen's Class: The Harvard Sailing Team

10:00 pm ($7): Singing improvisors who use an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

10:30 pm ($10): Jonathan Gabrus, Sue Galloway, and other fine improvisors make up scenes about an audience member's legal dispute at The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): The debut of a monthly comedy talk show hosted by the wonderful Kurt Braunohler, with tonight's guests Adira Amram (awesomely hilarious singer/songwriter), Eugene Mirman (Conan O'Brien, Comedy Central Presents, HBO's Flight of the Conchords, VH1, Adult Swim; pioneer of NYC downtown comedy), and the deliciously surreal Jon Glaser (Adult Swim's Delocated): Night of the Living with Kurt Braunohler

 

 

NYC Comedy Picks for Saturday 2/5/11

Jim O'Grady  Auld Lanxiety

Top storytellers Jim O'Grady and Sara Barron perform at Andy Christie's always fun The Liar Show

 

Recommendations for the best in New York City comedy tonight

(in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:

 

 

[TOP PICK] [$] 6:00 pm ($15, which includes 1 drink; reservations highly recommended by calling 212.989.9319): Four funny people tell amazing stories. Three of the tales are absolutely true...but one of them is a pack of lies. The audience then asks questions to try and identify the fibber—and everyone who does gets a free t-shirt! This evening's yarn-spinners are Sara Barron (author of People Are Unappealing; NPR's The American Life), Jim O'Grady (WNYC, The New York Times), Lisa Kirchner (The Washington Post, Salon.com), and Steve Zimmer (Moth GrandSlam Champion). Come to the West Village's Cornelia Street Cafe (29 Cornelia Street) and let host Andy Christie (The New York Times, Moth GrandSlam Champion) attempt to mislead you at The Liar Show

7:00 pm ($5): A new musical/rap improv group debuts at The PIT: The Boombox Kids

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Genius improvisors Anthony King, Christina Gausas, Ed Herbstman, Becky Drysdale, and more—plus a rotating cast of stellar visitors who've included writers & performers from 30 Rock, The Colbert Report, and The Daily Show—all joyously declaring Let's Have a Ball

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm & 11:45 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.) A stand-up who's starred in his own Comedy Central Presents special, and appeared on ABC's The View and NBC's Showtime at the Apollo, headlining at the Gotham Comedy Club: Louis Ramey

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious troupes in comedy history—and the Cage Match Champion for three years in a row!—genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo

9:00 pm ($7): Organic & energetic improv by the four guys of 4 Track!

9:30 pm ($10): "A cabaret of darkly funny songs and topical sketch comedy about culture and politics," following sold out shows at Joe's Pub: Political Subversities

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($15 both online and at the door using discount code SBWC, otherwise $20): This top musical improv troupe has wowed audiences around the world with its skill at making up an hour-long musical moment by moment. The plot and characters, the musical accompaniment, even the song lyrics and the "choreography" are invented on the spot, with no pre-planned structure. Come see why BWC won a FringeNYC Award last year for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event by catching tonight's edition of Baby Wants Candy

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15): Ted Greenberg (Emmy-winning David Letterman writer) performing a fun, fast-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience interaction and audience rides home!—at The Complete Performer

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): An all-star improv troupe led by brilliant UCBT artistic director Anthony King: Reuben Williams

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($5): Vibrant improv from Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney (Statues of Liberty) and Leslie Korein as comedy trio Trike

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Andrea Rosen (HBO's Flight of the Conchords, Comedy Central's Stella, Variety SHAC), Matt McCarthy (Comedy Central, AMC, Verizon FIOS guy, Front Page Films, The Other Guys, comedy CD Come Clean), Caitlin Tegart (ESPN, ace UCBT sketch comedy writer), and more "celebrating the seedy and urbane life in America; think of us as The Prairie Home Companion, just a little more fucked up" at Andy Rocco's Underground Americana

 

 

NYC Comedy Picks for Sunday 2/6/11

Amy Poehler Horatio Sanz

Superbowl, Shmooperbowl: Stellar improv happens every Sunday without fail at UCBT's hilarious ASSSCAT 3000

 

Recommendations for the best in New York City comedy tonight

(in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:

 

6:30 pm ($5): Young comics pair up in Dynamic Duos

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCBT's signature improv comedy extravaganza, which typically includes stars in the improv world, and sometimes even TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSCAT 3000

8:00 pm ($5): "Explosions, car chases, villains, kidnapped daughters, sword fights and shootouts… an action movie unfolds on stage, live and through video" in the stage experiment Action Movie: The Show

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Jessimae, Hilary Schwartz, and M. Dickson performing at this free weekly gay-themed show at Therapy tonight guest-hosted by Adam Sank: Electro Shock Therapy Comedy Hour

 

 

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